Farmer H sent me an email last evening: Our Newest Baby.
Yes, even chicken dreams can come true.
"I noticed that hen had been sitting on the hay bale for three or four days. I checked under her, but there were no eggs. So I grabbed one when I collected them, and put it under her. I didn't know if it was good or not. And tonight, I saw that she had a chick."
Let the record show that it takes three weeks for an egg to hatch. And that even though they have a perfectly good chicken house, with nest boxes, and a shelf, and a bar upon which to perch, our hard-headed hens prefer to sleep in the trees, and hatch their chicks wherever the mood strikes them.
This Miss Prissy took up residence on a hay bale under the camper shell (one of two, though I'm certainly not bragging) that Farmer H set upon a wooden base to use as an impromptu shed. One is used to park his riding lawn mower under, and this one became his hay shed, what with the building he TOLD me was going to be a hay shed when he was buying materials turned out to be his Little Barbershop of Horrors.
I hope it takes a while for the neighbor's chicken-killers to get wind of this little guy.